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Introduction Albania
Background: In 1990 Albania ended 44 years of
xenophobic communist rule and
established a multiparty democracy.
The transition has proven difficult
as corrupt governments have tried to
deal with high unemployment, a
dilapidated infrastructure,
widespread gangsterism, and
disruptive political opponents.
International observers judged local
elections in 2001 to be acceptable
and a step toward democratic
development, but identified serious
deficiencies which should be
addressed through reforms in the
Albanian electoral code.

Geography Albania
Location: Southeastern Europe, bordering the
Adriatic Sea and Ionian Sea, between
Greece and the Federal Republic of
Geographic coordinates: 41 00 N, 20 00 E
Map references: Europe
Area: total: 28,748 sq km
water: 1,350 sq km
land: 27,398 sq km
Area - comparative: slightly smaller than Maryland
Land boundaries: total: 720 km
border countries: Greece 282 km, The
Former Yugoslav Republic of
Macedonia 151 km, Yugoslavia 287 km
Coastline: 362 km
Maritime claims: continental shelf: 200-m depth or to
the depth of exploitation
territorial sea: 12 NM
Climate: mild temperate; cool, cloudy, wet
winters; hot, clear, dry summers;
interior is cooler and wetter
Terrain: mostly mountains and hills; small
plains along coast
Elevation extremes: lowest point: Adriatic Sea 0 m
highest point: Maja e Korabit (Golem
Korab) 2,753 m
Natural resources: petroleum, natural gas, coal,
chromium, copper, timber, nickel,
Land use: arable land: 21.09%
permanent crops: 4.45%
other: 74.45% (1998 est.)
Irrigated land: 3,400 sq km (1998 est.)
Natural hazards: destructive earthquakes; tsunamis
occur along southwestern coast;
floods; drought
Environment - current issues: deforestation; soil erosion; water
pollution from industrial and
domestic effluents
Environment - international party to: Biodiversity, Climate
agreements: Change, Desertification, Hazardous
Wastes, Ozone Layer Protection,
signed, but not ratified: none of
the selected agreements
Geography - note: strategic location along Strait of
Otranto (links Adriatic Sea to
Ionian Sea and Mediterranean Sea)

People Albania
Population: 3,544,841 (July 2002 est.)
Age structure: 0-14 years: 28.8% (male 528,678;
female 493,531)
15-64 years: 64% (male 1,094,034;
female 1,175,024)
65 years and over: 7.2% (male
111,524; female 142,050) (2002 est.)
Population growth rate: 1.06% (2002 est.)
Birth rate: 18.59 births/1,000 population (2002
Death rate: 6.49 deaths/1,000 population (2002
Net migration rate: -1.46 migrant(s)/1,000 population
(2002 est.)
Sex ratio: at birth: 1.07 male(s)/female
under 15 years: 1.07 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 0.93 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.79 male(s)/
total population: 0.96 male(s)/
female (2002 est.)
Infant mortality rate: 38.64 deaths/1,000 live births (2002
Life expectancy at birth: total population: 72.1 years
female: 75.14 years (2002 est.)
male: 69.27 years
Total fertility rate: 2.27 children born/woman (2002 est.)
HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate: less than 0.01% (1999 est.)
HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/ less than 100 (2000 est.)
HIV/AIDS - deaths: less than 100 (1999 est.)
Nationality: noun: Albanian(s)
adjective: Albanian
Ethnic groups: Albanian 95%, Greek 3%, other 2%
(Vlach, Gypsy, Serb, and Bulgarian)
(1989 est.)
note: in 1989, other estimates of
the Greek population ranged from 1%
(official Albanian statistics) to
12% (from a Greek organization)
Religions: Muslim 70%, Albanian Orthodox 20%,
Roman Catholic 10%
note: all mosques and churches were
closed in 1967 and religious
observances prohibited; in November
1990, Albania began allowing private
religious practice
Languages: Albanian (Tosk is the official
dialect), Greek
Literacy: definition: age 9 and over can read
and write
total population: 93% (1997 est.)
male: NA%
female: NA%

Government Albania
Country name: conventional long form: Republic of
conventional short form: Albania
local short form: Shqiperia
former: People's Socialist Republic
of Albania
local long form: Republika e
Government type: emerging democracy
Capital: Tirana
Administrative divisions: 36 districts (rrethe, singular -
rreth) and 1 municipality* (bashki);
Berat, Bulqize, Delvine, Devoll
(Bilisht), Diber (Peshkopi), Durres,
Elbasan, Fier, Gjirokaster, Gramsh,
Has (Krume), Kavaje, Kolonje
(Erseke), Korce, Kruje, Kucove,
Kukes, Kurbin, Lezhe, Librazhd,
Lushnje, Malesi e Madhe (Koplik),
Mallakaster (Ballsh), Mat (Burrel),
Mirdite (Rreshen), Peqin, Permet,
Pogradec, Puke, Sarande, Shkoder,
Skrapar (Corovode), Tepelene, Tirane
(Tirana), Tirane* (Tirana), Tropoje
(Bajram Curri), Vlore
note: administrative divisions have
the same names as their
administrative centers (exceptions
have the administrative center name
following in parentheses)
Independence: 28 November 1912 (from Ottoman
National holiday: Independence Day, 28 November (1912)
Constitution: a constitution was adopted by
popular referendum on 28 November
1998; note - the opposition
Democratic Party boycotted the vote
Legal system: has not accepted compulsory ICJ
Suffrage: 18 years of age; universal and
Executive branch: chief of state: President of the
Republic Rexhep MEIDANI (since 24
July 1997)
head of government: Prime Minister
Pandeli MAJKO (since 22 February
cabinet: Council of Ministers
nominated by the prime minister and
approved by the president
election results: Rexhep MEIDANI
elected president; People's Assembly
vote by number - total votes 122,
for 110, against 3, abstained 2,
invalid 7
elections: president elected by the
People's Assembly for a five-year
term; election last held 24 July
1997 (next to be held NA July 2002);
prime minister appointed by the
Legislative branch: unicameral People's Assembly or
Kuvendi Popullor (140 seats; 100 are
elected by direct popular vote and
40 by proportional vote for four-
year terms)
election results: percent of vote by
party - PS 41.5%, PD and coalition
allies 36.8%, NDP 5.2%, PSD 3.6%,
PBDNJ 2.6%, PASH 2.6%, PAD 2.5%;
seats by party - PS 73, PD and
coalition allies 46, NDP 6, PSD 4,
PBDNJ 3, PASH 3, PAD 3, independents
elections: last held 24 June with
subsequent rounds on 8 July, 22
July, 29 July, 19 August 2001 (next
to be held NA June 2005)
Judicial branch: Supreme Court (chairman is elected
by the People's Assembly for a four-
year term)
Political parties and leaders: Agrarian Party or PASH [Lufter
XHUVELI]; Albanian National Front
(Balli Kombetar) or PBK [Shptim
ROQI]; Albanian Republican Party or
PR [Fatmir MEDIU]; Albanian
Socialist Party or PS (formerly the
Albania Workers Party) [Fatos NANO,
chairman]; Christian Democratic
Party or PDK [Zef BUSHATI];
Democratic Alliance or PAD [Nerltan
CEKA]; Democratic Party or PD [Sali
BERISHA]; Group of Reformist
Democrats [Leonard NDOKA]; Legality
Movement Party or PLL [Ekrem
SPAHIA]; Liberal Union Party or PBL
[Teodor LACO]; New Democratic Party
[Vagjelis DULES]; Party of National
Unity or PUK [Idajet BEQUIRI];
Social Democratic Party or PSD
[Skender GJINUSHI]; Unity for Human
Rights Party or PBDNJ [Vasil MELO,
Political pressure groups and NA
International organization ACCT, BSEC, CCC, CE, CEI, EAPC,
participation: EBRD, ECE, FAO, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO,
ILO, IMF, IMO, Interpol, IOC, IOM,
ISO (correspondent), ITU, OIC, OPCW,
Diplomatic representation in the US: chief of mission: Ambassador Dr.
chancery: 2100 S Street NW,
Washington, DC 20008
FAX: [1] (202) 628-7342
telephone: [1] (202) 223-4942
Diplomatic representation from the chief of mission: Ambassador Joseph
embassy: Rruga Elbasanit, Labinoti
#103, Tirana
mailing address: U. S. Department of
State, 9510 Tirana Place,
Washington, DC 20521-9510
telephone: [355] (4) 247285
FAX: [355] (4) 232222
Flag description: red with a black two-headed eagle in
the center

Economy Albania
Economy - overview: Poor and backward by European
standards, Albania is making the
difficult transition to a more
modern open-market economy. The
government has taken measures to
curb violent crime and to revive
economic activity and trade. The
economy is bolstered by remittances
from abroad of $400-$600 million
annually, mostly from Greece and
Italy. Agriculture, which accounts
for 52% of GDP, is held back because
of frequent drought and the need to
modernize equipment and consolidate
small plots of land. Severe energy
shortages are forcing small firms
out of business, increasing
unemployment, scaring off foreign
investors, and spurring inflation.
GDP: purchasing power parity - $13.2
billion (2001 est.)
GDP - real growth rate: 7.3% (2001 est.)
GDP - per capita: purchasing power parity - $3,800
(2001 est.)
GDP - composition by sector: agriculture: 52%
industry: 21%
services: 27% (2001 est.)
Population below poverty line: 30% (2001 est.)
Household income or consumption by lowest 10%: NA%
percentage share: highest 10%: NA%
Inflation rate (consumer prices): 3% (2001 est.)
Labor force: 1.283 million (not including 352,000
emigrant workers and 261,000
domestically unemployed) (2000 est.)
Labor force - by occupation: agriculture 50%, industry and
services 50%
Unemployment rate: 17% officially (2001 est.); may be
as high as 30%
Budget: revenues: $697 million
expenditures: $1.5 billion,
including capital expenditures of
$368 million (2002 est.)
Industries: food processing, textiles and
clothing; lumber, oil, cement,
chemicals, mining, basic metals,
Industrial production growth rate: 9% (2000 est.)
Electricity - production: 4.738 billion kWh (2000)
Electricity - production by source: fossil fuel: 3%
hydro: 97%
other: 0% (2000)
nuclear: 0%
Electricity - consumption: 5.378 billion kWh (2000)
Electricity - exports: 100 million kWh (2000)
Electricity - imports: 1.072 billion kWh (2000)
Agriculture - products: wheat, corn, potatoes, vegetables,
fruits, sugar beets, grapes; meat,
dairy products
Exports: $306 million (f.o.b., 2001 est.)
Exports - commodities: textiles and footwear; asphalt,
metals and metallic ores, crude oil;
vegetables, fruits, tobacco
Exports - partners: Italy 70%, Greece 12%, Germany 6%,
The Former Yugoslav Republic of
Macedonia 2%, Austria 1% (2001)
Imports: $1.1 billion (f.o.b., 2001 est.)
Imports - commodities: machinery and equipment, foodstuffs,
textiles, chemicals
Imports - partners: Italy 32%, Greece 26%, Turkey 6%,
Germany 6%, Bulgaria 2% (2001)
Debt - external: $1 billion (2000)
Economic aid - recipient: $315 million (top donors were Italy,
EU, Germany) (2000 est.)
Currency: lek (ALL)
Currency code: ALL
Exchange rates: leke per US dollar - 140.16
(November 2001), 143.71 (2000)
137.69 (1999), 150.63 (1998), 148.93
(1997); note - leke is the plural of
Fiscal year: calendar year

Communications Albania
Telephones - main lines in use: 120,000 (2001)
Telephones - mobile cellular: 250,000 (2001)
Telephone system: general assessment: Albania has the
poorest telephone service in Europe
with fewer than two telephones per
100 inhabitants; it is doubtful that
every village has telephone service
domestic: obsolete wire system; no
longer provides a telephone for
every village; in 1992, following
the fall of the Communist
government, peasants cut the wire to
about 1,000 villages and used it to
build fences
international: inadequate;
international traffic carried by
microwave radio relay from the
Tirana exchange to Italy and Greece
Radio broadcast stations: AM 13, FM 4, shortwave 2 (2001)
Radios: 1 million (2001)
Television broadcast stations: 3 (plus 58 repeaters) (2001)
Televisions: 700,000 (2001)
Internet country code: .al
Internet Service Providers (ISPs): 10 (2001)
Internet users: 12,000 (2001)

Transportation Albania
Railways: total: 447 km
standard gauge: 447 km 1.435-m gauge
(2001 est.)
Highways: total: 18,000 km
paved: 5,400 km
unpaved: 12,600 km (1998 est.)
Waterways: 43 km
note: includes Albanian sections of
Lake Scutari, Lake Ohrid, and Lake
Prespa (1990)
Pipelines: crude oil 196 km; petroleum products
55 km; natural gas 64 km (1996)
Ports and harbors: Durres, Sarande, Shengjin, Vlore
Merchant marine: total: 7 ships (1,000 GRT or over)
totaling 13,423 GRT/20,837 DWT
ships by type: cargo 7, includes
some foreign-owned ships registered
here as a flag of convenience:
Croatia 1, Honduras 1 (2002 est.)
Airports: 11 (2001)
Airports - with paved runways: total: 3
2,438 to 3,047 m: 3 (2001)
Airports - with unpaved runways: total: 8
1,524 to 2,437 m: 1
under 914 m: 4 (2001)
914 to 1,523 m: 2
over 3,047 m: 1
Heliports: 1 (2001)

Military Albania
Military branches: Army, Navy, Air and Air Defense
Forces, Interior Ministry Troops,
Border Guards
Military manpower - military age: 19 years of age (2002 est.)
Military manpower - availability: males age 15-49: 888,086 (2002 est.)
Military manpower - fit for military males age 15-49: 727,406 (2002 est.)
Military manpower - reaching males: 35,792 (2002 est.)
military age annually:
Military expenditures - dollar $56.5 million (FY02)
Military expenditures - percent of 1.49% (FY02)

Transnational Issues Albania
Disputes - international: the Albanian Government supports
protection of the rights of ethnic
Albanians outside of its borders in
the Kosovo region of Yugoslavia and
in the Former Yugoslav Republic of
Macedonia while continuing to seek
regional cooperation; many Albanians
illegally transit neighboring states
to emigrate to western Europe
Illicit drugs: increasingly active transshipment
point for Southwest Asian opiates,
hashish, and cannabis transiting the
Balkan route and - to a far lesser
extent - cocaine from South America
destined for Western Europe; limited
opium and growing cannabis
production; ethnic Albanian
narcotrafficking organizations
active and rapidly expanding in
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